John Kerry Egypt
US Secretary of State John Kerry was in Sharm el-Sheikh for the Egyptian investment summitReuters

US Secretary of State John Kerry offered encouraging words about the Egyptian economy at an international investment summit in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh on Friday (13 March).

"This part of the world is blessed with a stunning amount of commercial potential," Kerry told an American Chamber of Commerce event.

The US is already the biggest foreign investor in Egypt and Kerry said the country, whose companies invested $2bn (£1.3bn) in Egypt last year, was ready to boost financial investment.

Kerry will meet later with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who arrived at the Red Sea resort in the southern Sinai on Thursday.

Kerry will also meet with Jordan's King Abdullah and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

President Sisi has already undertaken "pretty meaningful" reforms, a senior official told Reuters, boosting the economy's standing.

Egypt's economy appears to have emerged from a dire slump caused by a combination of extreme political instability and years of dictatorship.

Kerry is set to discuss Egyptian economic and security issues with Sisi, who faces a growing insurgency in the Sinai peninsula, as well as the security situation in Libya and the rise of the Islamic State (Isis) in parts of Syria and Iraq.

Cairo has sought stronger military ties with the United States, with Sisi calling for increased military aid on 9 March. However, Kerry made no mention of the military relationship in his speech to the American Chamber of Commerce.

The US suspended military aid to Egypt after former President Mohamed Morsi was ousted from power in 2013 by the military, then headed by Sisi.